sharks trophy 568Reigning BBL Trophy champions Sheffield will tip off the defence of their silverware against Reading Rockets after the draw for the 2013-14 competition was made.

The BBL Trophy will not only include all 12 BBL member clubs, but also four teams from the second tier of the game, with a quartet of EBL clubs lining up in the first round draw.

Staying as a straight knockout affair and beginning in mid-January next year, Sharks will hit the road and head for looking to avoid a real banana skin.

Meanwhile there are three away trips for other BBL clubs too, with Glasgow Rocks heading over the border and into Yorkshire to face Leeds Carnegie, who are expected to join the top flight in 2014.

Surrey Heat will travel to the West Country to lock horns with Bristol Academy Flyers, who will get to experience BBL opposition first-hand ahead of their entry into the BBL in 2014-15.

The other EBL team looking to write a major headline are Leopards, who entertain Newcastle Eagles, a club who have dominated the competition in recent times.

There are also four all-BBL including London Lions playing host to Worcester Wolves and last years’ beaten finalists Leicester Riders going to Cheshire Phoenix.

The longest trip in the first round will be undertaken by Durham Wildcats, who make the long trek to Devon to play Plymouth Raiders, whilst the final encounter will see newbies Birmingham Knights travel to second season returnees, Manchester Giants.

Each of the winners will go into the quarter-final round draw which will be a one-off game.

The semi-finals will again be two-legged, the winners proceeding to the showpiece Final which will be held at the Emirates Arena, Glasgow on Saturday 15 March.

The full BBL Trophy first round line up is as follows:

London Lions v Worcester Wolves
Plymouth Raiders v Durham Wildcats
Cheshire Phoenix v Leicester Riders
Manchester Giants v Birmingham Knights
Leeds Carnegie v Glasgow Rocks
Bristol Academy Flyers v Surrey Heat
Essex Leopards v Newcastle Eagles
Reading Rockets v Sheffield

Sheffield host London in the opening round of the BBL Cup with the second phase to take place in early November.

The semi-final round will again be two-legged, with the last four teams fighting it out to play at the 2014 BBL Cup Final on Sunday 12th January at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham.

The BBL Cup First Round draw is as follows:

Sheffield v London Lions
Worcester Wolves v Manchester Giants
Birmingham Knights v Plymouth Raiders
Durham Wildcats v Cheshire Phoenix

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